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The Collaboratory began in 1996 as a single project under the name 'Dokimoi Ergatai.' This grew into multiple projects and needed organization with structures and services to promote quality, collaboration and resource sharing between multiple project activities. This organizational structure developed into the Collaboratory for Strategic Partnerships and Applied Research at Messiah College. 

In 2000, the Provost of Messiah College authorized the formation of the Collaboratory to organize longstanding co-curricular service projects under the leadership of several faculty members in the Department of Engineering. The Harsco Corporation awarded a lead grant to form the organization. Additional major funding by Leif and Carol Uptegrove in 2004 enabled the Dean of the School of Mathematics, Engineering and Business to expand the mission of the Collaboratory to serve the MEB school and encourage broader campus collaboration. In 2010, a restructuring of the schools that make up the Messiah College placed the Collaboratory as a department within the School of Science, Engineering and Health.  

The idea of being Dokimoi Ergatai or 'approved workers' for God speaks clearly to followers of Jesus, but the words themselves are difficult to pronounce and they do not communicate our mission of "collaboration", "partnership", and "applied research" to some of our off-campus partners. Although Dokimoi Ergatai is no longer an organization, it continues as the motivating principle for all that we do in the Collaboratory and the heart of our Christian discipleship.

Dokimoi Ergatai is our ethos, a phrase that expresses our desire to become God's approved workers, and it is the foundation of our core value statements. We have therefore made Dokimoi Ergatai the name of the Collaboratory newsletter and the logo appears on number Collaboratory marketing and publication materials to remind us that we belong to God.  

The Collaboratory is a Department within the School of Science, Engineering and Health and is amenable to the Dean of the School. We seek to offer a compelling mission and vision that motivates considerable participation among educators, especially in the School of Science, Engineering and Health. While the resources of the Collaboratory are meant to encourage teaching, scholarship, and service projects that fall within the scope of its mission and vision, many worthy projects and expressions of faithfulness to Christ do not fall within the scope of its mission and vision. The existence of the Collaboratory in no way precludes students or educators from other worthwhile pursuits and faculty members are free to earn term tenure and promotion through teaching assignments, scholarship projects, and service activities entirely apart from the Collaboratory.